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Since 2009, thousands of business owners have appeared on Shark Tank to pitch “million dollar” ideas to the sharks, a group of investors who provide funding for a percentage ownership share of a company. Now a worldwide phenomenon, the show features inventors, entrepreneurs, and everyday people seeking funding for their direct-to-consumer (D2C) product or service.  While each episode may only feature a handful of segments, not every company gets funded, mostly due to a lack…

Black Friday and Cyber Monday generate almost half of all holiday shopping traffic, so does it make sense to run holiday ads during the remaining several holiday weeks? The answer is a resounding “yes!” Most holiday shopping happens before the actual holiday while people rush to buy Christmas gifts and beat the shipping cutoff, but people still want to buy stuff on Christmas, Boxing Day, and New Year’s. Think of all the gift cards! Don’t…

Hubspot’s chief marketing officer, Mike Volpe, advises marketers to experiment creatively with their marketing. However, even the most creative marketing has to be tempered with some thoughtfulness. History has shown that many companies were perhaps a little too creative in their marketing, with efforts that cost sales and damaged reputations. While it’s always a good idea to learn from our mistakes, what better way to avoid making them than a glimpse at the world’s most…

Anyone who owns, operates, or works at a direct-to-consumer (D2C) business has had their ears ringing with one of the hottest marketing buzzwords at the moment: content. Everyone from Gary Vee to industry giants, HubSpot, has preached about the importance of writing content and how doing so helps grow the bottom line. Despite all this talk about writing content, there still is a lot of confusion on how to do it well. That being said, writing content well…

In the dark ages, before the first dot-com bubble of the 1990s, making a stock trade was an arcane process. You needed a broker — a physical human being with an office and a license and access to the infrastructure that powered securities transactions. You also needed a large amount of money because reputable brokers didn’t have time to waste on people making $100 trades on their lunch hour. Trading meant calling your broker, letting…

A common misconception is that your ads need to be perfect before they go live. However, a big part of marketing is testing and changing your methods accordingly. If you create something that you are reasonably happy with, pull the trigger and start promoting. Interactions with your initial ad will provide feedback you can use to iterate upon throughout your digital advertising journey. Before you begin testing, it’s important to understand the three most common…

From the outside, networking events sound super glamorous — interactive workshop sessions with like-minded peers, marketing conferences with panels featuring your favorite self-made female founder, and wine — lots of free wine. But there’s one caveat that we rarely acknowledge: it takes work to network.  After a day filled with meetings and projects galore, it’s tough to find the brain power (read: social desire) to check out a networking event where you might meet some…

Unlike many other marketing approaches that focus on short-term goals and immediate sales, brand marketing strategy focuses on the long-term play. It’s an investment in the company that builds cumulative value over time by developing a meaningful connection with customers and a strong reputation among partners, collaborators, and consumers.  Let’s discuss how you can strengthen your brand and leverage it to attract new customers and create a devoted following. In this article: Customer Advocacy Content…

Let’s shine a spotlight on the show Shark Tank. It features a group of investors who decide whether various products are worth investing in. To secure capital, entrepreneurs present their products in front of the “sharks,” and face questions spanning all aspects of their business, including distribution, marketing, and plans for the future. If you’re unable to answer these questions and provide clear goals, the sharks will turn you down. This show serves as a…

Since direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands directly communicate with their customers, creating quality content assets has never been more important. Content assets are ads, blog posts, videos, and other visual or written pieces that will engage your target audience and convert them into customers. Keep in mind that every piece of content needs a goal: to highlight new products, create some buzz, or encourage visitors to buy from you. You can create a lot of different types…